Top 13 Recruitment Strategies for Australia in 2024

By Rachel Hill

February 26, 2024

We are living in a highly adaptive world that is changing the way in which we work, hire, attract, engage and connect with employees and candidates. Our recruitment pathways are more complex and uncertain than ever before. Unemployment is the lowest it's been (3.5%) in 2023 than since 1974.

The old skills, practices and attitudes for recruitment are no longer fit for purpose.

The World Of Recruitment Has Evolved

The skillsets, mindsets, technology, tools and behaviour sets that we need today and tomorrow have evolved, with ever-changing Recruitment Technology and AI Chat GPT. In each organisation exists the capacity to become better. Recruit better. At Hill Consulting, we believe that Recruitment is a fundamental skill that will make or break your organisation's ability to deliver on Profits, your Strategic Plans or Corporate Mission. This is where HR can make a difference, and shine. Having a strategic seat at the table. Good recruitment is the cornerstone of your organisation’s culture, behaviours and individual job performance.

It all begins with good recruitment. Good Attraction, good process flow and good internal HR and Hiring Manager capability and skills.

It’s time for HR to review what you are doing in 2024. Is it working for you? Time to revisit your strategies. Do they need a refresh? Or what do you need to STOP, START, or CONTINUE? In your recruitment function.

Do you even have a Recruitment Strategy? Is it aligned and supporting your business strategy?

Here are our top 13 effective recruitment strategies that we recommend you start or refresh in 2024:

1.  Define Your Employer Brand And EVP – Employer Value Proposition (or Refresh)

When people think of places to work, they often start with well-known brands that they are familiar with and trust. Your brand is developed by the reputation you have about your products and services”. (Source: Forbes 2023)

Candidates should be treated as consumers and people need to know your brand and what you stand for. This also needs to be honest, unique and truly reflective of your workplace, the role, culture and benefits. Don’t just copy someone else’s. When people go looking for your brand and information, they should be able to find you and the right informed messages.

This is more than just an About Us page on your website. Work with your current HR team and Hiring Managers to identify your unique EVP and Brand Messages. Run an EVP project (allow resources and budget as these things take time). Also, Train your Hiring Managers in these messages and the need to sell at interviews.

Make sure you (and the Hiring Managers) are on social media. Are you on LinkedIn? Getting good Glass Door Reviews? Have a Facebook Page? Run Instagram campaigns? As I say, “fish where the fish are”.

Your website should definitely have a careers page, with real people and real stories and pictures. Consider using video tools to sell the role and organisation (61% uplift in applications). This should convey your company’s vision and mission and outline your story in a way that is engaging. Think about why people join your company, how diverse your workforce is and whether or not you need new channels to market.

Values matter, Gen Z and beyond now look for what you stand for. Especially around such topics as the environment and sustainability or corporate and social responsibility. Make sure you are talking about these things that matter to candidates too (Gartner 2024).

2. Treat Candidates As Customers – Because They Are

Good talent wants to work at professional organisations whatever the size. How good is your recruitment process and candidate experience? Do you get back to candidates in a timely manner? Do they get feedback? Are your hiring managers impressive at interviews (or terrible?.)

Progress candidates promptly (in a matter of days or weeks, not months) and let them know what to expect in the process (think candidate guides). Make the application process easy and simple.

Manage expectations and stick to your promises. When a candidate arrives for an interview, do Your managers know good interview etiquette? Do they take a moment to offer them something to drink? Show them to the room and hold respectful conversations. Do they have good interview skills and structure (we call ours WIGGS)? Do they know and ask good questions, probe in the right areas and allow candidates the time for their questions? This hospitality goes a long way to building trust and professionalism. Once you finish the interview, hiring managers also need to be available for follow-up questions or provide feedback to the unsuccessful and successful applicants. Does the process flow smoothly from there to the offer stage and onboarding or terrible?

Are you losing people because your process is slow and clunky?

3. Use Social Media – Get on LinkedIn

These days most people will use social media to search and look for jobs. No, they will not necessarily visit your company website or careers page. They may not be looking on traditional job boards like Seek. The post and prey mentality (Seek alone) no longer works.

You’re going to have to be more creative than that. Make sure you have a dedicated LinkedIn page on your organisation for recruitment purposes. And that your Hiring Managers are all on LinkedIn and like and share each other’s job adverts (it will go to their network so could reach 10,000 more people in your industry). It's free and should not be owned by Marketing but run and updated by HR. LinkedIn is your number one job site / CV database.

Make sure your HR or TA Consultants are searching, advertising and posting on LinkedIn (and maybe Facebook) depending on the industry.

Do your Hiring Managers have business cards and know to hand them out, link and connect with people online or at conferences (and via LinkedIn)? Are they trained in Recruitment skills, and the need to sell? And their role in this attraction process with candidates.

Make your job adverts (non-boring) and not just a copy of the PD. Make them fun and light and include the benefits to the candidate, pictures and stories. Talk about your values, and what they can bring or get out of the role. Consider hiring managers doing videos – like with Video My Job type of tools.

4. Have a Search Consultant in Your TA / HR Team (or outsource RPO)

As above, post and prey job advertising on your website no longer works. In a candidate-tight marketplace, you will have to be more creative than this. Many Recruitment Functions today are introducing specialist roles of a Search Consultant or Sourcing Specialist.

These people are skills in social media, data and analytics and can help find that needle in a hay stack (Purple unicorn) and approach them about the role. Rather than waiting for candidates to apply to an advert, approach them in the first instance. This may take some months of contact and conversations to win people over to join you.

Time to get aggressive (you are competing for talent) you need to start head-hunting and getting followers on social media. Make your posts interesting about work and culture and cool projects.

5.  Consider Other Talent Pipelines Or Pools (More Than Just Adverts)

The labour market has not been this tight since 1974! Things are not going to get better for the next 10 years. More baby boomers (over 65) retiring than ever before, and no growth in 0 to 16-year-olds (no extra school leavers coming through).

Old notions like Apprenticeships, traineeships, and internships come back into vogue. Consider if you can’t find them or hire them it may be better to build your own. Also, consider that an aging workforce, more people (with high skills) are going to leave the company. Can we re-skill other workers or build our own? Traineeships might be a great way to bring people on.

Consider hiring people from other industries, with transferable skills. Be less hung up on qualifications and pieces of paper. Look at on-the-job experience or propensity to pick up new skills. Consider Build v Buy. Work with TAFE’s and schools to develop talent pipelines. Also, consider hiring older workers (2nd careers) or encouraging people to retire later and or come back as trainers and mentors part-time once they have retired.

If degrees and paper-based qualifications count for less in 2024 (Gartner 2024). Think of transferable skills when hiring, focus more on competence and behaviours, and be open to those changing industries.

6. Start Or Refresh Your Employee Referral Program

If you’ve already got great employees and culture, consider hiring their friends and past work colleagues. Referral schemes have always been a great way to hire (and save on advertising costs and or recruitment fees). Employee referrals are usually very good and can be trusted. They will still need to be assessed and vetted for the role. But in general good people generally know and hang out with other good people and will refer professional, hardworking people who fit into your company’s culture.

Set up an employee referral program. Incentivise employees to refer with $$ rewards to refer family and friends.  Or revisit your referral scheme if you already have one. Is it working? Are the incentives big enough? Do your employees know about it? Does it need a refresh or relaunch?

Consider what that empty seat or lost opportunity are costing you. It's worth the referral fees to fill the roles with good people, who can hit the ground running.

7. Get or Update Your Applicant Tracking System

Every organisation (no matter the size) should have an Applicant tracking system (ATS). This helps recruiters or HR and hiring managers better see and manage the process of recruitment. It’s also your database you can go back to and search for talent (past applicants) and or see past correspondence, or test results and ref checks etc.  It can also be used for approvals (job requisitions), tracking and reporting, record keeping and communication and posting job adverts from.

There are many good ATS these days that are very cost-effective for what they do (some very reasonably priced for small companies) and provide huge time-saving features (than manual docs) such as for onboarding or reference checking and emails. The good ones also now include many AI features that can help with shortlisting, database searches and or job advertising and communications.

If you need a hand reviewing or picking a new one – get in touch.

8. Review Your HR Tech Stack

Are your systems and processes working for you? Are they smooth, timely and easy for Recruiters and Hiring Managers to use? If not, why not? Undertake a review of your current HR Tech Stack – even if just in the Recruitment arena. Do you have a fully functioning ATS (Applicant Tracking System)? Does it utilise AI?

Are there other HR Tech tools you can use? Don’t overly worry about integration. Even if a stand-alone tool (You’ll find most these days do integrate) can save hundreds of hours of manual labour (cost saving). Such as for your reference checking, Onboarding and police checks etc.

Remember every step in the process can cause time delays. This can cause candidates to dropout, or accept an alternative role elsewhere. All that time and energy, only to lose them at the final stages. Map out your process, can you or have you automated where you can?

9. Train Your Hiring Managers In Recruitment Skills

Hiring managers and Business leaders are not born knowing how to interview. It always surprises me that people are promoted to leadership positions and just expected to know how to interview. And it’s not just hiring managers - many in the Talent Acquisition (TA) profession have also never received any formal training.

Having a good interview technique can make the hiring decisions quicker, get a better fit for the role and the organisation, plus enhance the candidate experience.

Recent AHRI research (article) predicted just that in 2023 up to 50% of people accepting job offers will actually later decline and go elsewhere. Sometimes hiring managers are even quite adept at putting candidates off the role!

There are significant benefits of doing a structured and properly trained competency-based interview. Consider training your hiring managers (we can help here). They need to know EEO and the Law, plus maybe have an open mind and other recruitment practices (and good questions to use), how to probe for evidence and a broader view of talent when it comes to diversity and Inclusion.

10. Use AI And New Recruitment Tools

HR and TA (as with everyone else) need to get on board with AI and new tools and ways of doing things.

AI will change they way candidates apply for roles, how we shortlist and screen and how we communicate (or advertise) with candidates. There are many HR AI tools already available, but ChatGPT tools also need to be examined. If you’d like a PowerPoint presentation on some tools, we have already been using you can find it here called List of AI tools for Recruitment.

Consider sending the TA team on specific training for this or invest the time to get to know the new tools from vendors (we can help here too).

11. Silver Medallists Matter – Use Your Database & Reach Out To Past Applicants

Ever watched the Olympics? We often remember the winners of the gold medals but what about those who come second or third?  Still highly achieving athletes, world-class at their game or sport and potentially just a fraction of time or goals from the winner(s). So, let’s not write them off.

If you get this concept, you’ll also appreciate that those same athletes will be potentially even better in one or two years’ time. Plus, they'll have all the skills, knowledge, training and experience behind them in being elite.

Now let’s apply that thinking to your candidates. Many of the clients I work with aren’t using their ATS to its full capabilities, or at all. How many organisations are saying that they can't attract good candidates? When they are sat on your database already. But no one bothered to look there OR KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THEM!

12.  Introduce More Diversity And Inclusion Into Your Hiring Practices

As above are your hiring managers trained on diversity and inclusion in recruitment?  Or their own unconscious bias when it comes to shortlisting and or interviewing questions or assumptions.

It's time to upskill your leaders and make sure your D&I initiatives are consistent with HR. D&I is everyone’s responsibility (Gartner 2024).  Also, time to get some mind shifts happening (again often with hiring managers) on “What is Talent?”. Open their eyes to new and different talent pools.

We can help here with training too and have a new D&I Program for Recruitment coming out in 2024 for leaders. Watch this space. Sometimes a shift in thinking or more open approaches to diversity and inclusion can open up huge untapped talent pools (plus see below on flexible working).

13. Consider More Flexible Working

In workforce trends Gartner have said (Gartner 2024) that Four-day workweeks go from radical to routine in 2024. As talent shortages are making it difficult to attract and retain employees, organisations are evaluating whether shifting toward a condensed workweek will meet growing employee expectations for flexibility. 63% of candidates rated a four-day workweek as the top future of work offering that would attract them to a job.

The cost of work crisis reaches a breaking point. Employers are mandating remote employees return to the office. Employees now have a sharper awareness of what coming into the office costs. Many ask why, return to the office? Think part-time, think job share, think remote working, think school hours to tap into new or different talent pools.

The Bottom Line $$

Companies should always be on the lookout for great talent. To enhance your recruiting efforts, make sure that your recruitment function is strategic. Hiring Managers and TA Teams need to be ambassadors for the company. Organisations need to sell and compete more in the War for Talent that is finally here.

In Summary

Before you say, “We do all this already”, I know you don’t. Even large organisations with big TA teams are not doing all of the above or are doing things poorly. Recruitment is your Strategic Lever and will be for the next 10 years. So invest in your TA team. Time to get competitive, Time to revisit initiatives like EVP and Brand, Your ATS and Processes, your HR tech tools and employee referral scheme. Are they working for you or fit for purpose? Is your TA model and team fully resourced? Or understaffed? Empty seats and unfulfilled projects or orders - could be costing your organisation millions on your bottom line.

Set Yourself Apart From Competitors

Within your organisation we know lies the brilliance that will set you apart from your competitors, that will give you the edge, that will guarantee attracting and hiring the right talent, and keeping key talent, and enabling you to develop new recruitment processes and strategies will help deliver on the next business growth plan.

You Must Modernise

Without modernising, having recruitment insights, understanding the marketplace, and having your TA strategy and Employment Brand messages it will be hard to compete against other employers and attract key talent. We can help identify your current process and service challenges, provide capability uplift and insights so knowing your core services and having the skills to implementing these. Without strategic recruitment plans and messaging businesses today can’t adapt and move at the speed needed to meet the demands of the market or match candidate expectations for today and into a re-imagined future.

What Next? Work with Us!

Work with me! If you would like some help, I'm always here and happy to have an initial chat about your recruitment strategy, Operations and TA modelling and AI tools. Especially the use of AI tools in recruitment and or separately the need to train your hiring managers in Diversity and Inclusion. Please feel free to contact me Rachel Hill.

Is your recruitment strategy in place? Download your free Recruitment Audit Compass and Model from our website.